Graston® Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is a form of manual therapy designed to treat soft tissue problems. This treatment is effective for new injuries as well as persistent, nagging injuries. One of the most exciting aspects of this treatment is the significant improvement that occurs even in cases where other treatments or more traditional therapies have failed.
The Graston® procedure is an instrument assisted variation of traditional cross fiber or transverse friction massage, which allows us to detect and treat areas of misaligned scar tissue. Stretching and movement activities are emphasized in such a way as to promote the development of mobile tissue that will permit pain-free motion and return to functional activity.
What type of injuries respond well to the Graston® technique?
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles (heel) Pain
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome
- Cervical / Lumbar Spine Strain / Sprain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Post Surgical Scars
- Reduced ROM due to scar tissue
What is scar tissue?
Scar tissue forms in the healing process as our body attempts to repair muscles, tendons and ligaments, much like a scar that forms when you have cut or scraped your skin. The scar tissue is not as strong or flexible as normal, undamaged tissue. Over time this fibrous tissue builds up, particularly in those areas which get a lot of use. This can lead to pain and reduced range of motion, because the replacement tissue lacks the strength and flexibility of healthy tissue.
How does Graston® work?
Graston® Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (GISTM) is a soft-tissue treatment that utilizes stainless steel instruments to comb over and catch areas of fibrous scar tissue. After these areas have been detected, the therapist then uses the instruments to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body, decreasing pain and improving function.
What does Graston® treatment consist of?
The therapist would first do a comprehensive evaluation of the injured area and associated joints to see if this technique is applicable. After the evaluation is completed, and all contraindications are ruled out the therapist will set up a treatment protocol similar to the following:
- Warm up of the treatment area
- Graston®Technique Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Manipulation
- Stretching to continue loosening soft-tissue
- Exercise to complete the functional rehabilitation
- Ice therapy
What are the benefits of the Graston® Technique?
The main benefit of this technique is not only in the detection of restrictions or adhesions, but also in the amount of improvement that takes place in a short amount of time. The average number of treatments is 7-12, but can vary from 1-15, depending on different variables. The Graston® Technique is a cost-effective, safe procedure with excellent outcomes and a high level of patient satisfaction!
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